Finding the new hires you need for your business is one of the most important things you can do. Making a new hire isn’t just a new employee – a functionary to press buttons at their desk until 6pm and home time. Even at the lowest level, making a new hire brings new talent into your business: a new point of view, a different set of experiences and the potential to drive your business to new heights.
On the other hand, a poorly chosen new hire doesn’t just fail to achieve the job in front of them, whether that’s answering a phone or sitting in the boardroom. They exhaust the other employees who have to pick up the slack, and can affect morale far out of proportion to the actual influence the post seems to have on paper.
Another pothole you can fall into when you’re hiring is to look for people who are just like you – it’s one thing to hire people who fit the values and culture of your company, but if you take this too far you’ll end up with an identikit series of employees, from the post-room to the boardroom. It’s a monoculture, and monocultures are susceptible to getting wiped out by problems outside their context. A diverse business has a broad array of viewpoints: your context is wide and you can anticipate problems and tackle them before they affect you.
The holy grail of hiring, therefore is a broad pool of diverse but highly skilled candidates. It gets harder and harder to find this as the roles you’re hiring for get more senior, which stand to reason. Every starts at the bottom of the ladder together, but as they climb, some find their rung and stay on it, while others abandon the climb altogether. When you’re hiring for the highest positions, you have a much smaller spread of possibilities than you did at the beginning.
The answer is to work with an executive search agency. The professionals can find you a selection of candidates who match your requirements and come from a range of backgrounds to make sure that when you enter the interview process, you’re looking for the best person for the job, not adding another yes man to your board room, and sleep walking your business towards a disaster you’ve denied yourself the ability to foresee and prepare for!